Written Answers. - UN Convention.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

509 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason the Government has neither signed or ratified the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. [8157/01]

The 1949 United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was negotiated and entered into force several years before Ireland joined the United Nations in 1955. The convention is somewhat outdated and there have been more recent developments in the UN and the EU context. The United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and the protocol to this convention to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, were signed by Ireland in December of last year. My Department is currently involved in negotiations on two draft EU framework decisions on combating trafficking in human beings and on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. These framework decisions will be comprehensive and they will take full account of current activities and developments in these unscrupulous practices. When the negotiations have successfully concluded, I will introduce any legislation that is necessary to update our current law to ensure that the two framework decisions and the UN protocol are fully implemented.